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Organisational development in the leader’s shadow (Part 1): Overall Development Indicator

For companies, development has always been vital. Progress is measured in many different ways, but there are also clear objective common denominators. There are those who are proud of the growth in the size of their organisation, those who focus on the revenue growth achieved by the company, and those who are interested in profit. In fact, there is a growing perception that a business owner, and therefore obviously the management employed by the owner, is clearly focused on the growth of the owner’s particular wallet.

Different considerations

These are at least objective, measurable development points. But in addition, there are also objectives in the picture, such as improvement of the company’s image, often without revenue, even without company growth. And then, there are those who focus specifically on making what their business does unique in the world. Some want to increase their efforts for the well-being of society, and I could list the different goals of business owners with different characters. It should also be clear that these objectives may differ at different stages of company ownership. It is not the same whether you are a startup, a company about to take a major step, or a listed company, as this can change their focus significantly. It is interesting that, although we are aware that people have different ways of thinking and we constantly say that everyone is unique and special, when it comes to making a decision on a specific issue or analysing a situation, even we businesspeople like to think in absolute clichés. Most of the time, the way I think, the way I measure others, and the way I analyse a situation is the generally accepted way, the right way, and I’m sure everyone does the same. This can be a serious conflict in the development of companies, not only between owners or between owner and investor, but also within the organisation itself. More and more companies are falling into the trap where colleagues who, say, love to be involved in starting up and building a company, to take on serious responsibility in a small team, do not like, and later downright hate, the situation when the company reaches greater growth. They want to over-organise everything; there is no more flexibility because the “owner cannot stand still”; nothing is enough for him; he wants to keep growing. So you have to reckon with the fact – and this is a major challenge for many small businesses that have become large, or rather a blow to their image – that at various stages of their development, they lose key people and confidants, and it is no use trying to keep them on board, because their motivation is lost. That is why today’s smart owner will also consult his key people on growth issues if he does not want to be left alone with his grown organisation without people who are trustworthy and truly responsible.


Every businessman is taught early on that a company can either grow or regress, but stagnating for long periods of time is impossible. That is why there is always a compulsion for a company to move forward. However, the term “progress” is not a clear-cut term, since “progress” is itself a subjective concept. Moreover, what is dangerous is that everyone interprets it in their own way and takes it for granted that everyone thinks this way. A lot of business talk is based on the fact that company managers and owners of a certain character get together and try to bid against each other in terms of the size of the company, be it in terms of revenue or even in terms of headcount. I have seen and heard many such cases, and I always get the feeling that I have to ask how much they produce, and whether it is really worth the trouble of having thousands of people for less profit than a company with ten employees can produce. But then I take a step back, because that would again be just my perception, which I cannot impose on everyone. And this idea brings us to the real issue: who wants to build a company of which character, why, and what are its prospects of success in the current situation – before, during, after the pandemic, in wartime – when the international financial and economic world is facing serious challenges? Today, the RISE Human Development System is the leading personality typing system for companies that are making serious progress, at least in terms of defining the character of top management. So let’s use it as a basis for looking at the main personality characters, what kind of business they are building, what they mean by development, and how the top business decision makers with the personalities of Ruler, Individual, Supporter, Expert and Complex think, and what they can expect to achieve in terms of business success in 2022-2028.